BERWICK — With the New England 12U Cal Ripken regional title game down to its final out, Ararat left-handed pitcher Brady Hiltz shook off the first sign from catcher Danny Millson.

Hiltz wanted to throw his curveball.

So he did, and it was a good one, too. Noble hitter Mark LaPointe chased it in the dirt for strike three.

The Ararat 12U All-Stars celebrate after they won the New England regional title with a victory over Noble on Friday in Berwick. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

Game over. New England regional over. The Ararat All-Stars were champs — 10-3 victors over host Noble.

Hiltz threw his glove to the sky, Millson tagged LaPointe and showed the umpire the ball before running out to embrace Hiltz, and the pig pile ensued.

“There are no words to describe how I’m feeling right now,” said Ararat head coach Jon Hiltz. “I’m so proud of these guys. I kept telling the boys all season long that there isn’t a group I’d rather be coaching than them.”


Ararat is the first team to represent Maine in the 12U Cal Ripken World Series in at least 25 years, according to New England Regional Commissioner Barry Jordan.

“It feels amazing, we’re putting Maine on the map,” said Ararat third-basemen Will Davis, who drove in a game-high four runs. “It’s awesome; this is the best feeling in the world.”

The 12U Cal Ripken World Series will take place from Aug. 7-14 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

After the game, it was announced that Noble had received a special invite to also take part in the World Series. After the announcement, the two teams embraced around the pitcher’s mound.

“I wasn’t expecting that, but when I heard the news I got excited,” said Ararat starting shortstop Daniel Beal, who was named the Ararat player of the game. “Two teams are better than one. It’s very cool.”

Noble took a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but Ararat responded with runs of its own, plating six in the inning.


“We like to start hot as we did again here today (Friday),” said Hiltz. “We just played our game and happened to get going early. It set a good tone for the rest of the game.”

After a Davis two-run double made it 2-1, Noble starting pitcher Owen Orlando started to favor his right arm so Noble made a pitching change. That didn’t stop Ararat’s explosive offense.

Ararat 12U All-Star coaches, including an emotional Jon Hiltz (facing), react after they won the 12U Cal Ripken New England regional title on Friday in Berwick. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

After a couple walks and a Zac McClenahan RBI single, leadoff hitter Brady Hiltz, who grounded out to shortstop earlier in the inning, stepped to the plate. He then smashed a line-drive over the head of Orlando at shortstop to score two more.

Ararat pitchers Colby MacFawn and Brady Hiltz took it from there.

“We have confidence in both those guys,” said Beal, referring to MacFawn and Hiltz. “We back them up and they know we’re there for them behind them.”

MacFawn pitched the first three innings, with Hiltz taking the last three.

The next stop for Ararat? Florida. And no need to worry if they’re ready or not.

“Oh yeah, we’re ready,” said Beal. “We’re super excited and ready to go out there and play the best baseball we can.”

Added Jon Hiltz: “We’ve put in so much work over the past two months. I know these guys are ready for another two weeks.”

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